“My staff see me as a pit-bull because of my past actions. I want that to change. I want my leadership to be viewed differently.” These were the words of my newest client, a managing director for a large organization that has been facing real challenges both internally and externally. He came to me from a referral of another client who I have been coaching for the past four months. Both these gentlemen are in the thirties and are in transition of taking a larger leadership role in the family business.
These are the individuals in the business community that I have been connecting with over the last couple of years: the next generation of business leaders who are looking to make changes both to their business and for themselves. They are critical of the ways the previous generation lead and manage and want change.
Transformation is the goal of coaching. It involves facilitating the learning and discovery of new ways of thinking and developing solutions to overcome the challenges in one’s life to reach what I like to refer to as their “impossible future.” That goal or dream seems unattainable, but with the help of a coach, it can be reached. In fact, the tagline of our business states: “Transforming Leaders, Organizations & Culture.”
Many of the challenges facing the business leaders I work with originate in the existing culture of their business. Most do not realize that their behaviours and actions (or inaction) is the underlying cause of the culture that currently exists. Taking them on a journey of discovery to understand themselves better as a person and as a leader is the starting point to the larger journey of reaching their long-term goals and transforming the culture.
It is important though that I am actively listening and fully present with each of my clients. This is why I try to spend time praying before each coaching session asking the Father to open my ears to the words being said or not said by my client to better understand where He would like to focus our conversation. In most cases the topic the client first presents as the area he would like to work on is not the real issue he wants to address. Usually, the main issue is much deeper and more impactful to them personally.
Presently, all my clients are of the majority faith here in our city in North Africa. Therefore, I do not make it a practice to pray with them before our coaching sessions. I do pray privately that the Spirit of God would prompt them to new ideas or ways of thinking based on the questions I am asking them.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).
In my coaching training we were taught about the spiritual dynamics of coaching and the transformational formula.
T = (D + A + R)HS
The formula states that transformation (T) is the result of the sum of discovery (D), action (A) and reinforcement (R), multiplied by the power of the Holy Spirit.1
As a coach, I focus on the process of discovery, through avenues such as self-awareness, insights, ideas, learning, and attitudes. From this I move my clients into creating action steps, because without action steps coaching is merely a nice conversation. I will then reinforce all action steps toward the client’s desired ends, regardless of the actual results. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate generator of discovery and action. It is through the Spirit that transformation is brought into the lives of my clients.
While I have only had a limited number of coaching sessions with my clients, I have already seen how this discovery journey has brought self-awareness and new insights. They have learned how their actions and behaviours have impacted them (positively and negatively) personally and in their business.
As a result, this has opened our conversations to deeper issues about them personally. Continue to pray that the Spirit of God will open their hearts and minds to His way of thinking and continue to open doors for me to connect deeper with these business leaders.